Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Perlmutter Out – KOA April Zesbaugh and Susan Witkin

KOA interview with April Zesbaugh and Susan Witkin on July 11 generated a blog reflecting the radio comments.

The Democratic Party primary for governor is full of surprises. Congressman Ed Perlmutter’s withdrawal only three months after his high-profile entry into the race is another big surprise after Jared Polis’ surprise June entry into the race.

Rep. Ed Perlmutter, with his wife Nancy, announces he's running
for governor, April 9, 2017 | Ernest Luning/Colorado Statesman
Congressman Polis changed the nature of the primary from a few million dollar competition to a $5 to $10 million dollar primary race. It tremendously ratcheted up the competition and made fundraising for candidates that can’t self-fund mostly non-stop for the next year (primary June 26, 2018). The race may also turn negative as candidates try to distinguish themselves and compete for the party interest groups. Competition for endorsements and constituents will likely lead to a robust round of interest groups and identity politics and a general drift to the party’s ideological left.

Perlmutter got in the race after former Senator and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar declined to run. Perlmutter was considered the establishment candidate and frontrunner. It is unlikely the Democratic Party establishment wants to allow Polis to become the nominee. They doubt he can win the general election and many don’t like his politics or his personality.

Expect another surprise. Who else may enter the race – a celebrity, an independently wealthy candidate or a person with a commitment from the establishment to help finance her or his campaign?

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